Interesting and Fun Shoes Facts

Red Shoes
  • It is believed that first simple shoes made from animal skin and wood were created over 8 thousand years ago.
  • By 4 thousand years ago, shoes made from rawhide became more commonly in use.
  • Middle Eastern shoemakers started producing shoes with heels to make walking across hot sand more bearable.
  • By 19th century shoes were made to be worn on both legs. Only recently they became deliberately produced for each leg individually.
  • Similarly, European men and women both wore the same designs of shoes for a long time. That changed only after 18th century.
  • Sneakers were first introduced in Europe in late 19th century, but they became more popular after American manufacturers started producing them in factories.
  • Average American woman owns 30 pairs of shoes, they spend average $300 on footware every year and 60% of the regret at least one of their shoe purchases.
  • Pointed toes on shoes became symbol of wealth and power in Europe. They remained mostly in fashion between 11th and 15th century.
  • Fetish of collecting high heel footwear is called Altocalciphilia.
  • First shoes were created by people hot and cold environments that had great need to protect their feet from the natural elements. For example, sandals were created by Egyptians because of hot sand, and animal skin shoes were used during the last Ice Age.
  • Even during World War II, shoe manufacturers managed to find a way to satisfy high demand for high heeled female shoes by making them from unconventional materials such as wood straws of snake skins.
  • Fashionable high heeled shoes were first introduced outside of Italy when Catherine de Medici went to French court in 1533 to be married.
  • It is reported that women on average carry shoes with high heel between age 12 and 63.
  • By the end of 16th century, high heeled shoes became very popular by nobles and royal members of many European courts. Their sizes ranged from 3 to 24 inches, depending of current fashion trends. Majority of those shoes were so big that wearers needed help from several servants to successfully use them.
  • Stiletto high heel shoes were designed by Roger Emanuel in 1954. The word “stiletto” came from the Latin word that means “stake”, or “small knife”.
  • In the 16th and 17th century heels were always painted in red and blue colors.
  • Chinese brides throw one of their bridal red shoes to the roof of their house to ensure the couples happiness.
  • Hungarian grooms drink celebratory toast from his brides wedding slipper.
  • Heavily reinforced boots for outdoor use were first used in Asia in 2nd millennia A.D. After they came to Europe they received several changes, from materials to designs.
  • First fashionable boot made for females was designed for English Queen Victoria in 1840.
  • Shoes were part of many ancient and modern ceremonies. In Middle Ages groom received his bride shoes from her father, in Hungary groom drinks wine from her bride’s slipper, and in popular American culture shoes are often tied up to the car of the newlyweds.
  • Marie Antoinette had 500 pairs of shoes, and it was recorded that he was executed while wearing high heeled shoes.
  • One of the most popular boot designs originated in early 19th century after the highly publicized victory of Duke of Wellington over Napoleon. His Wellington boots became a staple of hunting and outdoor wear for British elite citizens. Very quickly this design poured over United States, where every member of Confederate Army received one pair.
  • The only shoe museum in North America is The Bata Shoe Museum, located in Toronto, Canada. They have collection that spans from modern times, all the way to 2500 B.C.